Before each home game, we salute a former South Sydney great in hope that the football club catches on and starts doing it at home games. Similar to how Canterbury-Bankstown honour past players by having them present the 18th jersey on the field to a member, Parramatta have a past player raise the blue and gold flag and let’s not forget the viking horn down at Canberra.
The local hero
We salute, Yileen ‘Buddy’ Gordon—former South Sydney, Canterbury-Bankstown, Penrith and Indigenous All Stars representative.
Buddy played 71 First Grade games (South Sydney 34 [2005–8], Canterbury-Bankstown 34 [2009–10] and Penrith 3  scored 11 tries all South Sydney. Represented the Indigenous All Stars once in 2010. He played centre and second row throughout his career.
Four grades in six weeks
In 2005, an 18 year old Waterloo local Buddy went from playing Souths S.G. Ball to making his NRL debut within six weeks via Jersey Flegg and Premier League – this is a feat that not many, if any, have ever done. Souths had to pick Buddy for first grade after scoring four tries in two games in Premier League.
The Alexandria Rovers junior made his debut against Canterbury-Bankstown in a 21 all draw in Round 13 2005 and became a bit of a lucky charm for Souths by only being in two losses that season out of his 10 appearances.
He was on his way to becoming a rising star for Souths with his aggressive style of play and silky skills.
Buddy’s time at Souths was a mix of brilliant moments on field and not so brilliant ones off it. The turning point in Buddy’s career was a heated exchange with Russell Crowe after a boozy night on the water in May 2006. From then on he was in and out of first grade and picked up and injury or two along the way.
One of the highlights of Buddy’s time at Souths would have been the double he bagged at Leichhardt Oval in 2007 when Souths charged towards the finals.
Life after Souths
Buddy left Souths at the end of the 2008 season and signed with Canterbury-Bankstown appear in 34 games in the 2009 and 2010 seasons along with two finals appearances.
Buddy had the honour of representing his Indigenous culture by playing in the inaugural All Stars match in 2010.
After his stint with Canterbury-Bankstown, Buddy signed with Penrith for the 2011 season and then spent time playing for Newtown before trying to revive his NRL career in 2014 at Wests but to no avail.
Where is he now?
These days you can find Buddy working as a plumber and playing for Wentworthville in the Intrust Super Premiership.